Object #1005327 from MS-Papers-0032-0828
From: Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 digitised items). The letters from Donald are written from Porirua Barracks, Otaki, Rangitikei, Waikanae, Wanganui and Taranaki. Susan's letters are addressed from Dalmuir Hill (her parent's home) and Wellington Terrace. Many letters are undated and were written prior to their marriage in Aug 1851. Includes correspondence between Susan McLean and her mother Susan Strang (2 letters, undated); one letter from Helen Anne Wilson to Mrs McLean, 30 August 1852
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August 24th 1852
My own dearest Donald
What would I not give if I could sit beside my own dear husband tonight instead of writing to him. Perhaps at the moment you are thinking of your poor Pussy. I sometimes this week feel very dull thinking of her who is gone. Poor Mama, how she struggled to keep up her spirits on our wedding day. How well she looked but it was too much for her. Little did I think this time last year when I was so happy preparing for our marriage that before six months had passed I would have so much sorrow and suffering to undergo. How very great at this time to me is the loss of my dear mother, for what friend can be at my bed like her, who so often nursed me in sickness. I shall never find one who would do for me what she would have done.
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I shall never forget how much alarmed she was about me when I was ill when you were at the East Coast. All her own illness was forgotten. Her whole anxiety was about me and she tried to keep up my spirits by sending messages to make me laugh. No friend, however kind, can be by my sickbed like her.
I think that native of the Hunter's will never come back. I am so anxious to hear from you. I trust however if I have a letter no other way this week I shall have one on Friday by the mail and I hope I shall hear by it that I may expect my old plague soon. Mr Hickson called today and I was quite annoyed for really I do not like seeing gentlemen now wrapped up in a shawl to make things better. Ellen and I had gone out of the room before he came in and left our work on the table. She had been sewing a baby's cap which he must have seen and I had a basket full of other things on
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the ottoman. I never was so vexed in my life. He may go and laugh about it. It is very annoying I cannot go out except in the garden. I feel so sorry I cannot get to church. I have not been there now for four Sundays. I must now say goodnight as it is time to go to bed. I hope I shall dream again as I did the other night that my darling had come home. I dreamt that I was sitting with my arms around your neck and kissing you I felt so happy and was quite disappointed when I awoke and found it was but a dream.
My dearest Donald, this is the anniversary of the happy day on which I became yours. I wished to write you a long letter today but Miss Kelly and Miss Hart came up to see me and I had not an opportunity. Miss Kelly remained to dinner so I must sit up a little to write but I am afraid it [crossed out]
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I cannot sit up long as I do not feel well. I am sure my Donald often thought of his wife today. How much I wish you had been able to spend it with me. I am sure dearest few others, having been married a year, are as fond of each other as we are and I trust my darling if we are long spared to live together our love will increase every year and I hope we may never have cause to regret our marriage but that we may always consider it the happiest day in our lives. I know my dearest love that I have your entire affection and I am sure it will be my own fault if I lose it. The longer I am your wife the more my affection for you increases. I have not a single wish or hope that is not connected with my dear husband. I trust I may ever be a dutiful and affectionate wife to him who so well deserves all that I can do to make him happy. I was so
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delighted to receive your letters by the Hunter's messenger, one by the mail and three today by the 'Eclair'. How Papa laughs at our correspondence. He says he never saw such letter writing. I cannot tell you how happy I am to think I may have you home yet before I am ill. I shall be so thankful if you are. If you leave at the time you mention it is possible you may, however I cannot be certain of a day now. I hope you will not receive this letter but in case anything should detain you I think it is as well to write by the 'Shepherdess'. You must forgive your pussy for concluding for tonight as I feel very tired. God bless you my own Donald.
I must add a few lines to my dear old plague's letter before I send it down to the Post Office. The weather for the last two days has been quite delightful,
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very different from what it was this time last year. The Spring seems quite set in. All the trees are beginning to bud. Although dearest I am very happy yet at times the bright sunshine, budding trees and flowers bring sad recollections to my mind. They make me think of her who has gone and of the many happy hours we spent together. I heard just now a sweet little bird singing that poor Mama has often said she liked so much to hear. I could not help crying. It brought to my remembrance how often when we first came here we heard it on a fine day like this on a large tree in front of our house. Those days are passed never to return. She is now in the enjoyment of eternal happiness and I trust her good advices which she so often gave me may never pass from my mind.
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I have been interrupted in my writing by Mrs Hargreaves coming in so I must conclude as I wish to go out for a little walk. I do not feel well and it may do me good. Give my kindest regards to Mrs Wilson. I intended writing to her by this mail but as I am not well I do not like to sit longer stooping over writing so I must I fear put it off till next opportunity. Good bye my own darling. I hope you will not receive this letter. I trust I shall have my darling husband home before it reaches Taranaki. I am so anxious that you should come home by the end of the week. If you do not I am [certain] when you come you will have something besides your pussy to love. Ellen Paul sends her kind regards. God bless you my own love and believe me ever
Your own devoted
Susan D McLean
Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 digitised items)
Series 9 Inwards family letters, Reference Number Series 9 Inwards family letters (1204 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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